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Toyota Unintended Acceleration Lawsuit Dismissed Over Technicality

Toyota Recall

The sign at San Francisco Toyota car dealership is shown in San Francisco, in this Jan. 26, 2010 file photo. Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday Oct. 21 it is recalling 1.53 million Lexus, Avalon and other models, mostly in the U.S. and Japan, for brake fluid and fuel pump problems.

A federal judge in California has dismissed a case against Toyota Motor Corp. that was supposed to be the first to reach trial out of hundreds of sudden acceleration complaints filed in federal court.

U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna ruled Thursday that the court doesn't have jurisdiction because damages could not reach a $50,000 threshold under the law.

He found the proper jurisdiction is instead Utah state court.

Selna had previously indicated he would allow the case to move forward in federal court.

The trial was one of several bellwether cases expected to determine how other cases would proceed.

The company has recalled more than 14 million vehicles worldwide due to acceleration problems in several models and brake defects with the Prius hybrid.